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How a UK Food Blog Grew Organic Traffic by 188% in 3 Months
SEO case study of


261.6K to 754.2K Monthly Visits


Food & Drink


Food Blog

Reporting Date

December 2023

2023 brought a wave of Google algorithm ups and downs. As many website owners tackled a drop in rankings, some food blogs emerged stronger than ever.

Among them, we discovered Taming Twins, a UK food blog dedicated to family-friendly recipes.

Not only did they wear the storm, but they found a new level of success.

Join us as we delve into the SEO strategies that propelled Taming Twins to 188% organic growth in just 3 months.

We’ll reveal how they did it and share tips for navigating algorithmic uncertainties on your website.

Let’s get started.

About Taming Twins

In 2013, UK-based Sarah Rossi embarked on a blogging journey following the birth of her twins.

She initially created Taming Twins as a parenting blog but pivoted to food, recognizing the need for easy, hassle-free meals in her own busy life.

Today, Taming Twins continues to serve its equally time-strapped audience with family-friendly recipes. Sarah is budget-conscious and aims to provide affordable options to her 1+ million followers.

Taming Twins homepage, a fuss-free family food blog.

She also provides meal plans that streamline weekly planning and grocery trips.

In 2023, Sarah published two cookbooks, further establishing her authority in the food blogging space.

Two cookbooks by Sarah Rossi, the food blogger behind Taming Twins.

Taming Twins has been featured in The Telegraph, BBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

Historical Performance

The end of 2023 brought unprecedented traffic to Taming Twins.

Compared to the site’s historical performance, December 2023 was more than double (754K) its previous peak in January 2021 (337K).

This older traffic spike coincided with the COVID pandemic when 65% of shoppers admitted to cooking more at home.

10-year organic traffic for Taming Twins shows a small traffic spike in January 2021 and a large traffic spike in December 2023.

When we zoom in, the organic growth becomes even more apparent in the latter half of the year.

2-year organic traffic for Taming Twins shows significant growth at the end of 2023.

Between July 2021 and September 2023, Taming Twins averaged 241.3K organic visits per month.

In the last 3 months of 2023, this average was 553.5K.

So, how did Taming Twins more than double its monthly organic visits?

And what lessons can we learn from Sarah’s SEO strategies to apply to your website?

You’re about to find out.

The Catalyst: How Taming Twins Reached 754K Monthly Visits grew its organic traffic by performing the following:

  1. Optimizing in-depth recipes for readability
  2. Implementing image SEO
  3. Leveraging recipe schema
  4. Winning higher rankings from Google algorithm updates

Let’s look at each strategy to understand how they impacted Taming Twin’s growth in 2023.

1. Optimizing In-Depth Recipes for Readability

Food blogs often contain a wealth of information beyond the recipe itself.

From ingredient substitutions to storage information, the most successful food bloggers realize their audience has questions. So, they answer them before readers even need to ask.

This means food blogs can be long.

To make this content easier to digest, Taming Twins optimizes for content readability.

Readability measures how easily users can read and understand your content. It’s particularly beneficial when you’re covering comprehensive topics.

Optimizing for readability ensures your audience stays engaged as they explore your content.

Let’s use one of Taming Twins’ recipes as an example.

Here’s a blog for a baked camembert recipe:

Baked camembert recipe on Taming Twins.

To help users navigate the blog, Taming Twins uses the following readability techniques:

1. Use descriptive subheadings.

Subheadings help users and search engines understand the content of your page.

Authors should break down complex recipes or articles into manageable sections. This gives users a clear roadmap for the cooking process or related information.

Here’s a preview of some of Taming Twin’s subheadings in the camembert blog:

Subheadings for the baked camembert blog by Taming Twins.

Just by looking at the above subheadings, users know exactly what to expect from this blog.

2. Incorporate multimedia.

Images are critical for food blogs. They entice users with the final product and guide them through each step to reach the same result.

Taming Twins applies this practice below by using images to enhance how-to steps.

Taming Twins uses images for each how-to step for baking camembert.

You can also use videos to engage your audience.

3. Break up text with bullet points, bolding, and white space.

Nobody wants to read a block of text.

Taming Twins uses bullet points, bolding, and white space to make content engaging.

These elements can keep users on your page for longer and improve scannability.

Here’s an example of how Taming Twins uses all three elements to make its content scannable.

Bullet point list of why you'll love this baked camembert recipe shows how Taming Twins' content is scannable.

4. Include FAQs.

FAQs work well for various websites, including blogs, online stores, SaaS sites, and more.

Taming Twins ends many recipes with FAQs to provide more information or helpful tips.

FAQs on the baked camembert blog address common questions.

Why this matters:

Optimizing for readability can improve important user engagement metrics, such as:

  • Session duration (how long users stay on the page)
  • Bounce rate (the percentage of users who leave your site after visiting only one page)
  • Clickthrough rate (CTR – the ratio of clicks on a link to the number of times users viewed the link)

How to optimize for readability on your site:

Let’s recap how Taming Twins optimizes its blogs for readability:

  1. Use descriptive subheadings.
  2. Incorporate multimedia.
  3. Break up text with bullet points, bolding, and white space.
  4. Include FAQs.

You can also:

  1. Use simple language.
  2. Write short sentences and paragraphs.
  3. Weave in transitional words.
  4. Implement active voice.

For a full list of items, check out this article on improving your content’s readability.

Tools for readability:

Nailing content readability can be tricky, especially when you don’t know where to start.

All in One SEO (AIOSEO) simplifies the process in WordPress with the help of TruSEO Analysis.

TruSEO analyzes your content and lets you know exactly where your content needs improvement. You’ll get a checklist highlighting what needs adjusting, plus actionable tips to improve readability.

Here’s an example of the TruSEO Readability Checklist:

TruSEO readability checklist lets you know when you can make improvements to help users understand your content.

Next, let’s look at how Taming Twins optimizes its images for SEO.

2. Implementing Image SEO

As we saw, images are integral to Taming Twin’s content. This is true for all food blogs.

And while having high-quality photos is critical for a positive user experience, it isn’t enough for search engines.

Search engines can’t understand images like you and me.

Instead, it relies on readable text to interpret the image’s content.

That’s why Taming Twins uses image SEO.

Image SEO is the process of optimizing your images for search engines. A large portion uses text elements to communicate the image’s content, such as:

  • Image alt text
  • Image title tags
  • File name
  • Caption
  • Image schema markup

Here’s an example of how Taming Twins uses some of these elements for the following image:

Sliced lemon drizzle cake from Taming Twins.
  • Image alt text: Sliced Lemon Drizzle Cake with icing topping running down the side.
  • Image schema markup: Taming Twins uses ImageObject schema.

And here’s what we would have liked to see (Taming Twins did not optimize these elements):

  • An optimized file name: For example, lemon-drizzle-cake.jpg
  • Image title tag: For example, “Lemon Drizzle Cake.”

Why this matters:

Image SEO is an integral part of a robust SEO strategy.

It also plays an important role in standing out on the search engine results page (SERP).

Sites with optimized images have better chances of winning image rich results. These enhanced search listings drive more clicks and traffic to your site.

Here’s what one looks like on the SERP:

Google SERP of a rich result with image for the query lemon drizzle cake.

And here’s the effect on Taming Twins’ keyword rankings for image rich results:

1-year keyword rankings growth for rich results with images for Taming Twins.

In December 2023, Taming Twins ranked for 37K keywords with images.

How to do image SEO on your site:

In addition to the optimizations mentioned above, there are several other ways of implementing image SEO on your website.

This article shows you 18 tips for image SEO, but here are just a few more:

  • Choose the right image format.
  • Create an image sitemap.
  • Lazy load your images.
  • Compress images to reduce file size.

Tools for image SEO:

Streamline image optimizations with the help of AIOSEO’s image SEO tool.

This innovative feature allows you to automate image titles and alt attributes with smart tags. These customizable variables generate important image SEO elements without you having to hand-write each one.

Image SEO settings in AIOSEO allow you to customize and automate image title tags.

You can also use the Schema Generator to implement ImageObject schema for you.

You upload your image, and we’ll format the structured data for search engines.

Upload image in AIOSEO's Schema Catalog for image schema markup.

Want to learn more about schema markup?

Our next strategy will explore this technical SEO element in greater detail.

3. Leveraging Recipe Schema

Schema markup is a form of structured data. It uses your web page’s code to communicate its content to search engines.

In our previous example, we revealed how Taming Twins uses image schema, but several different types exist.

Recipe schema is the most prevalent on food blogs, including Taming Twins.

When a website uses recipe schema, search engines can use this information to create a recipe snippet on the SERP.

These search results include information like cooking time, rating, and an image.

The example below showcases all these schema attributes.

Google recipe snippet from Taming Twins for the query lemon drizzle cake shows cook time, votes, and rating.

In December 2023, Taming Twins ranks for 8.3K keywords with recipe snippets.

Keyword rankings with recipe snippets for Taming Twins shows growth at end of 2023.

Why this matters:

Rich results are a powerful means of securing more traffic.

The statistics speak for themselves:

Because of this, schema markup should be a part of every website’s SEO strategy.

How to implement schema markup on your site:

Recipe schema is ideal for food blogs, but you can choose from several schema markups.

This article shows you how to implement schema markup without a plugin.

It covers three different methods, each uses JSON-LD and requires coding knowledge.

Tools for schema markup:

Schema generator plugins are the best way to implement schema markup on your WordPress site.

They eliminate the need for coding knowledge since they automatically format it for you.

AIOSEO’s Schema Generator offers several schema types, including recipe.

Recipe schema is among the list of schema types available in AIOSEO's Schema Catalog.

Finally, let’s see how Taming Twins’ commitment to high-quality content and SEO influenced their performance in the face of Google algorithm updates.

4. Winning Higher Rankings From Google Algorithm Updates

2023 was a challenging year for website owners and SEOs. But while some scrambled to recover from a drop in rankings, Taming Twins won a boost.

Chart of Taming Twins organic keyword rankings growth with a huge spike at the end of 2023.

We believe these updates were responsible for an increase in rankings:

  1. September Helpful Content Update
  2. November Reviews and Core Update

Let’s look at each closer.

1. September Helpful Content Update

  • This update rewards websites with high-quality, people-first content.
  • From Google: “The helpful content system aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.”

Resource: Google’s recommendations on how to write helpful, reliable content.

Taming Twins: The months following this update reveal increased keyword rankings. They also show more SERP Features, which include rich results and featured snippets.

Keyword rankings growth for Taming Twins shows they won more keywords in November and December 2023.

2. November Core Update

  • Google released two updates this month: Reviews and Core. We’ll focus on the latter for Taming Twins but will include information on the reviews update for those interested.
  • Google said the following for reviews: “The reviews system works to ensure that people see reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content…” This system evaluates blog posts, articles, and other stand-alone content.
  • They also released a broad core update, which occurs several times throughout the year. These updates aim to continue refining the search algorithm and improve its ability to present helpful results.


Taming Twins:

November’s broad core update could explain the dramatic increase in Taming Twins’ traffic.

December received 158.9K more organic visits than the month prior, bringing total traffic to 754.2K.

6-month organic traffic chart of Taming Twins with 754K visits in December.

Why this matters:

Taming Twins’ sudden increase in rankings suggests a correlation with 2023’s algorithm updates.

What can website owners learn from their growth?

Remain steadfast in your content creation strategy. Prioritize users and high-quality content above all else.

This approach can help you navigate search algorithm updates that aim to remove low-quality results.

How to monitor performance after algorithm updates:

There are several metrics to track when assessing your site’s performance after an algorithm update.

This article shares the 10 must-have key performance indicators (KPIs) to follow, and this tutorial shows you how to monitor your SEO in Google Analytics.

WordPress users, we recommend reading how to monitor the impact of a Google algorithm update in WordPress. This tutorial uses the SEO plugin that we’ll be recommending next.

Tools for monitoring SEO performance:

AIOSEO’s Search Statistics makes staying in the loop of your site’s SEO performance easy.

You’ll get a timeline view that shows your site’s impressions and clicks. You’ll also see Google algorithm markers that allow you to pinpoint when an update could have affected your site.

Search Statistics in AIOSEO shows impressions, clicks, average CTR and position.

Each marker also has a read more option to learn about the update.

Google marker in Search Statistics shows the September 2023 Helpful Content Update.

Standout SEO Wins

Before we conclude, we’d like to highlight an additional strategy Sarah Rossi uses at Taming Twins.

1. Taming Twins has an active social media presence.

Taming Twins has a far reach, thanks to Sarah’s commitment to engaging her audience on social media.

With over half a million followers on Pinterest alone, Sarah has cultivated a loyal following of like-minded cooking enthusiasts.

She posts almost daily on various platforms and sometimes hits the jackpot with a viral video.

Some of her TikTok videos have won multi-million views each, as demonstrated below.

Viral TikTok videos on Taming Twin's profile.

Overall, Sarah meets her audience on each of their preferred social media platforms. Here’s a breakdown of each with the number of followers:

  • Pinterest: 503K
  • Instagram: 424K
  • TikTok: 341K
  • Facebook: 224K
  • Twitter: 4K

Tool: Bloggers know the importance of social media. But it’s easy to get bogged down with content creation and run out of time.

That’s why AIOSEO’s social media integration connects with your favorite platforms to share your content seamlessly.

Connect with 11+ social media platforms and preview your posts right in the WordPress editor.

AIOSEO offers 11 social networks.


In our analysis of, we’ve uncovered how a commitment to helpful recipes and user engagement has been pivotal in its success.

Sarah has navigated a challenging year of algorithm updates and highlighted how high-quality content still stands strong.

Now, let’s review which strategies to use on your website and others to reconsider.

Top 3 Strategies to Emulate

  1. Craft comprehensive content and optimize for readability. Cover a topic in detail, then optimize for readability to ensure your content is digestible. This combination enhances the user experience and can help boost your rankings from search engines.
  2. Apply image SEO to help search engines understand your images. Optimize image file names, alt text, and title tags with SEO-friendly text. This helps search engines better understand the content and context of your images. It can also improve your page’s rankings for your target keywords and win image rich results.
  3. Implement schema markup to win rich results. Search engines can use schema markup to display rich results on the SERP. These search listings have higher CTRs and boost organic traffic to your site.

Bottom 3 Strategies to Reconsider

  1. Overlooking image title tags and file names. Despite some strong image optimizations, Taming Twins leaves some details overlooked. Best practices dictate that you should also optimize image title tags and file names with your primary keyword. This can help them rank in Google Images and improve the page’s overall SEO. Use a WordPress image SEO tool to streamline these optimizations.
  2. Writing page titles under 30 characters. Your page title, or meta title, should be between 50-60 characters. This text is displayed on the SERP, meaning it’s valuable real estate for driving traffic to your website. Consider it like a first impression, and craft your meta titles with care. You can also use an AI title generator to write them for you.
  3. Missing some meta descriptions. A handful of Taming Twins’ pages are missing meta descriptions. Like meta titles, this text is vital to winning users’ attention. Meta descriptions allow you to provide more context and compel users to click through to your website. You can use an AI generator to automate your metadata writing process.

Steal Our SEO Winning Strategy: A Checklist for Your Website

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author avatar
Gabriela Jhean SEO Specialist
Gabriela is a creative and results-driven SEO specialist dedicated to helping small businesses stand out online. She contributes in-depth SEO case studies at AIOSEO Trends to reveal the winning strategies of top-ranking websites. In her downtime, Gabriela enjoys treasure hunting for antique jewelry.